Marketplace PM for February 28, 2005
An unprecedented action by a huge corporate defendant. The words of a judge who today okayed a settlement between DuPont and people living near a West Virginia Teflon plant. Dupont does not admit a chemical used at the plant caused any illness. But the company has agreed to spend $107 million on tests of local water supplies. DuPont may have to spend another $235 million to monitor the health of nearby residents. Also today, word on three cases involving money coming soon to the U.S. Supreme Court. Marketplace's Scott Tong reports.
In Lebanon today, thousands of angry protestors demonstrated outside the parliament. They were demanding that the pro-Syrian prime minister and his cabinet resign. And then surprisingly - the government did just that. The shakeup comes two weeks after the assassination of a former Prime Minister. Rafiq Hariri was an opponent of Syria's occupation of Lebanon. But he was also a self-made billionaire. And he helped rebuild his country after a 15-year civil war. From Beirut, Kate Seeley reports on new fears of an economic meltdown.
U.S. consumers spent as much in January as they did the month before. That according to the Commerce Department today. But the savings rate fell 3.6 percent. That translates to a penny saved for every dollar earned. Can Americans do better? Perhaps with a little help from some friends in Washington. That's what Commentator Zanny Minton Beddoes claims.
Tomorrow in London, what originally looked like a major summit. One of the first international conferences on Palestinian reform in the post-Arafat era. With the IMF and the World Bank planning to take part, there were hopes for big pledges of financial support. But neither the Israelis nor any major investors are planning to attend. A suicide bombing in Tel Aviv over the weekend did not help the summit's prospects. But as Stephen Beard reports from London, those prospects were already looking a little shaky.
Host David Brown talks to author Jennifer Washburn about concerns in academia over the growing influence of corporate dollars.